Does this mean there will be no gifts this year?

Santa and the Snow Demon had been locked in a stalemate of mortal war all afternoon. The kids heard the dogs going apeshit at the back door, so they pulled away from their Hungry Hungry Hippos battle royale…ran to the window to see the Santa-Demon melee.

Santa was holding his own, but as the evening approached, and the snow began to fall heavier…the Demon seemed to grow stronger…as if the coming darkness and cold gave him strength. Santa, after what seemed like hours of swinging his sack and still doing but little damage to the South Pole Devil, began to waver. His rosy cheeks paled. His battle cry of “I’m going to Ho-Ho-Hurl you back to hell!” diminished to a creak. Even his belly seemed less jolly and more like an anchor.

The children, knowing that Christmas for all eternity was on the line, looked at each other. Kevin, although a year younger than the twins was the leader…looking them in the eye, he nodded slowly. And the twins knowing what must be done nodded back. With only the patter of bare feet, they ran to their rooms, and donned their best armor. Kevin, his Wookie-Warrior-Chimpanzee-Gymnast costume from two Halloweens ago, and the twins in their Angel/Satan-Duality-of-Power togs from the school play last week.

As they opened the back sliding door, the dogs ceased their barking. The Demon looked towards the house, and the dogs eased backwards toward safety. The heroes stepped into the yard, the crunch of fresh snow under their Converse. They could hear the wheezing of Santa and smelled the iron of his poinsettia-colored blood. Kevin, fearless as always and pushing his sweat bands up his arms a little higher, whispered to the twins, “No matter what happens, keep Christmas alive.” …and without another word, he stepped across the fence and began pacing toward the Demon.

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